—for Richard, July 2017
You rang my doorbell, I pretended
I wasn’t at home, crouched in stillness,
surrounded by photographs —I should’ve known,
I couldn’t’ve known, I should’ve known—
my neighbor drunk-flashing his porch lights
after his shift at the meat plant, shift at the bar,
his work shirt flung into the azaleas.
Monday, you returned. Tuesday, again.
Wednesday, I answered, that revolving dream,
a disconnect when it mattered most, your fist
frozen mid-knock. I held your trumpet toward you,
kissing the haze between worlds, I came
to on the front steps beside the wisteria,
cold air swirling into the yard as you fled
through tall grass, past the dogwoods,
this red life you’d already forgotten.